By Natalie Coe

It is common at the beginning of the year for businesses start thinking about business development and putting strategies and plans in to place to grow their business over the coming months. The level of productivity of your sales force should be reviewed, too. This team of people are responsible for generating new business and sales while also maintaining existing business, as a result they have a direct impact on the performance of your business. Have a look at these tips which can help you to maximize the productivity of your sales team.

Provide Efficient Training

Ineffective onboarding practices waste a lot of money and time. Training a new member of a sales team can take a lot of hours — not only for the trainee but also the trainer. These hours spent training also cost a lot of money. Extensive, in-depth, and costly training doesn’t mean that you’re going to produce a world class sales rep. In fact it is thought that about 87% of training is usually forgotten a week or two after receiving the training.

One way to reduce time spent on sales training is to consider using online learning materials or e-learning courses. These are less costly than hiring an individual to train a new sales team member and it frees up the time of the manager that would have had to undertake the training responsibility.

Create a Concise Prospect Research Process

If you don’t have a standardized process for researching prospect clients prior to making contact with them either by phone or in a meeting, you should. If you leave your sales team to their own devices when it comes to carrying out this process they might be wasting time. Do you know each sales reps process or how long they’re spending on each prospect? You think it might only shave a couple minutes off the amount of time spent researching, but if you take into account the amount of potential customers each sales team member researches each day it could end up almost totaling an hour for some reps.

Group Tasks Together

Consider instructing your sales team to make a certain amount of calls and to then do any admin work related to those calls following that batch of calls. This will help them to establish a workflow. Without a ‘flow’ time can be wasted from having to adjust from one task to another and progress can become choppy. Any important information gathered during a call can be jotted onto a notepad so it isn’t forgotten and then all of the information can be entered into your CRM at the same time.

Hire Appointment Setters

By handing over admin work that can be done by someone else you will be able to keep your sales force on the road and it will give them back more time that they can spend visiting new prospects. Many B2B marketing companies offer an appointment setting service, you can provide them with a list of potential customers that you want them to contact and they will go forward and make appointments with them for a salesperson to go and visit them. Professional appointment setters can also gather any required information that you specify them to collect.

Provide Relevant Resources

A lot of a sales person’s time is spent writing content for their calls, emails and letters, or it’s spent looking for the right content in the extensive collection of writing that the marketing department has supplied them with. An abundance of content won’t save the sales team from having to write their own because more often than not they can’t find something that is completely relevant.

Shifting the responsibility of creating content from one department to another won’t solve the problem because if the marketing department doesn’t know what to write then a lot of useless content ends up being produced, that is why it is essential for a level of communication to exist between the two departments.